Serverless, simply put, is the next evolution of cloud computing—and the most exciting aspect of serverless is what's come to be known as Function-as-a-Service, or FaaS.
A new way of deploying server-side software that's oriented around deploying individual functions or operations, FaaS lets you strip away the Host Instance and Application and focus solely on the operations. With FaaS, both Dev and Ops are completely abstracted from managing server hardware or server processes—they're not concerned with server machines, operating systems, or long-lived server applications. And it's this lack of concern with servers that led to the term "serverless," even though, of course, the code is still running on a server somewhere.
The most popular vendor platform for functions–as–a–service is AWS Lambda, which has been around for about two years. Google, Microsoft, and IBM now have their own versions, and several smaller companies are coming out with versions, too.
Serverless isn't the answer for everything, and there are still plenty of drawbacks. But serverless is poised to be as big a transition in our industry as EC2 and infrastructure–as–a–service were in the past. You'll want to keep your eye on this one, even if you're not ready to go serverless yet.
For a more in-depth introduction to serverless, we invite you to view Mike Robert’s keynote, An Introduction to Serverless from the 2016 O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference in San Francisco.
Learn more about serverless and other key technologies at this year’s O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference in New York, April 2-5, with two-day professional training courses, hands-on tutorials, keynotes, sessions, and nonstop networking opportunities. It’s the only conference dedicated entirely to software architecture.
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